We just wanted to share some video from Bane's recent trip to Nicaragua, I hope it will bless you, as much as it did us.
Bane and Jeannie
June 2, 2013 We attended the worship service at church this morning, then after a delay of five days, the weather finally cleared enough to depart for the Bahamas. We were scheduled to leave on the 28th of May, but a repair to the plane and later foul weather prevented us from leaving as planned. As we were preparing to go, it was a constant on and off process as the rainy season dictated how and when we would fly. Even though Jimbo had wanted to pick us up from Kissimmee, which was close to our home, the radar showed cloud cover coming in heavily to the inland. He decided that if we could get to Melbourne, the coast was clear….literally. So we made a bee line for the coast. Tim (our happy taxi driver, as he had dubbed himself) used his trusty GPS, when we arrived at the airport, it was tiny and we questioned whether we were in the right location. I inquired in one of the buildings only to learn that we were in Merritt Island. I immediately called Jimbo, as the day was quickly slipping away and he had to get to his final destination by sunset. It only took him about 10 minutes to get to us and we began loading the plane as rapidly as possible. It was apparent at first glance that we would not be able to get everything we intended on bringing into the tiny 6 passenger plane, which was already half full. It was an amazing thing to witness, how skilled Jimbo was at getting that little plane jammed full to capacity. All I can say is it’s a really good thing that the girls are so small! They looked like sardines, but were content anyway. They did start asking the “are we almost there” questions, but what child doesn’t when they are 6 & 8? We did need to leave behind some of the things that would make our stay easier, but were not imperative for our time on the island. We were disappointed that the case of Bibles that we had planned to take would not be able to go, as well as many gift items of clothing, crafts and other things for the children both at the orphanage and the Abacos. We are going to exploring having them shipped and if that is unsuccessful, we’ll bring them on a return visit.
Just making sure that this update went through before sending today's update.
Hi everyone, sorry for not being more attentive to updating you on the girls progress. It's been a really busy year and we stay on the move constantly with Lyndsay being in Kindergarten/1st grade and Charis being in Pre-K this year. We spend much of our time running back and forth to town to drop off or pick up from school. Fortunately Charis only goes three days a week and Lyndsay only goes physically to school twice a week and is homeschooled the other three. It makes life interesting getting everything done that needs to be done, but with the Lord's help we get it all accomplished. Lyndsay loves both her Kindergarten and First grade (for all her language arts) teacher. She is in both grades since she was already reading at about a second grade level at the beginning of the school year. It was a good choice of schools for her and for us, as it eased us into home schooling, as they tell us what we need to do rather then us guessing. Charis, the socialite, still loves everyone and everything. She is at the wonderful age of testing all her boundaries though....a fun time as parents. Normally she is quite agreeable though and her favorite pasttime is still making others laugh....quite the clown. Both girls are taking Preballet and gymnastics on Thursdays, conveinently at the same location, one class right after the other with the local homeschoolers group. They just performed in a ballet, Immanuel, The Promise. They were both "sheep", very cute! They both did well, but Lyndsay decided to position herself strategically in the back of everyone else so she could not be seen (I was just very proud that she even went up on stage,as she would not go on it during the practice)....on the other hand there is Charis, right up front where everyone could see her!! On Saturday afternoons, we have gone to Chinese Mandarin classes for this past semester. They both did well and got certificates yesterday at our last class. Lyndsay had her first sleep over, quite a feat of bravery for her.
We've been staying very busy with the girls as well as the business and are believing the a quick sale for our acreage in Western MD http://www.forsalebyowner.com/listing/5E103. I've attached a link if you know of anyone looking for a beautiful large property to build on, hunt on or for recreation of any type in that area not far from Deep Creek Lake. We have tried to diversify our photography business and are now offering products to our clients, in addition to trying to add new clients. We got our first wholesale account for products featuring our work on them. Coffee mugs, magnets, keychains and Christmas cards. Since products are a Christmas business, we have been busy trying to keep up. We welcome the new avenues though, as our industry has taken some major blows in the past few years. Good thing we know WHO our provider is and that we don't have to trust in a man. We pray that everyone has a blessed, very safe and prosperous New Year. I'll let the photos fill you in on the remainder of our 2010.
The homeschoolers had a trip to Old Salem in Winston-Salem, NC
Charis holding her pumpkin from our trip to Coffey's apple farm
Mt. Vernon's fall festival. Lyndsay is wearing her brand new fairy dress, that had no size on it, that she got for her birthday. As soon as she held it up, I knew it was about two sizes too small, but she loved it and I didn't have the heart to tell her that we should take it back. So she was as proud as a peacock with her fairy "mini dress". I hoped no one would notice.....not sure that happened!
Lyndsay's classmate Skylar joined us at the bowling alley for her 6th birthday. Who do you think is in control in this picture!! LOL Poor Skylar!
An armful of tiny beanie babies from Mom Mom and Pop Pop. She also got a bike for her birthday.
Gotcha day for Lyndsay Nov 22, we also celebrated Charis' at the same time. They are holding gifts from China that they get each Gotcha day.
"The little Lord Jesus asleep on the hay" you can see Lyndsay hiding in the back on the right. Can you tell who the "leftie" is??
We have had a busy weekend as we attended one of the local FCC (Families with Chinese Children) gatherings, this particular one in Wilkes, on Friday evening. We were celebrating the beginning of the Chinese New Year (actually on Sunday), as all the children were adorned in their Chinese outfits, did crafts, ate Chinese food.....and can't forget the bounce house! They had a blast. It's customary that they parade around with a dragon costume over their head, which Lyndsay was looking forward to, I think more to overcome her fear of it from years past. The kids were so absorbed in playing with everything else that we never got to it and it was very late by the time we left. Lyndsay was a bit disappointed or it could actually have been relieved!
The next day we headed to Hickory for the second FCC party, only to find out after arriving at the location, that they had to cancel to due weather challenges. We were all disappointed, but they will reschedule for another date. I think Bane and I enjoy the fellowship with all the other families, as much as the girls enjoy playing with each other.
We did some photos of the girls in their Chinese outfits this week that we thought we'd share.
I'll have to do more updating when time permits, as I'm very far behind. I'll also be adding photos from the parties, as I can. Oh, and if you look at these and say to yourself, boy that Charis looks mighty mischievous ....well you're right. Enjoy!
There has been so much going on this fall that it has made it difficult to keep everyone updated on all that's taken place. Thank goodness for photos! They do help us remember all that we've done, places we've been and remind us of how much our girls have grown. We celebrated Charis' 3rd birthday on September 12th with the Brindles, some of the Alderson family and a couple of new friends from school. She really enjoyed her party which we held at the local playground and had cake and ice cream. It was very simple, but she loves this park, so we knew it would make her very happy, and it did. Just four days later on the 16th we celebrated her "gotcha day", it's so hard to believe that this little ball of energy was placed in our arms a year ago as a very quite, laidback little girl. Just look at her now! To continue with the "party fest" this fall, on the 20th of Sept, we helped Grace another little blessing from China celebrate her 5th birthday. The children all had such a good time, though I could see Lyndsay carefully calculating and making mental notes of everything she saw, so she could make her "list" when her birthday arrived in November. The next birthday we celebrated on the 4th of October, was with Jacob who is in Lyndsay's class and who we also used to attend church with, he too hit that magic age of 5 in classic Robinhood style. Katie, his mom, is so creative.The kids had a grand time being princesses and nobles to aid Robinhood, complete with hats she had made and paper tunics which the children could decorate.
On October 7th we went with the girls on a field trip to a local apple orchard. They all received little pumpkins, apples and were shown how they polish and sort the apples. It was very interesting and fun for all as we walked through a little corn maze and took a wagon ride together to see more of the farm. The children all seemed to enjoy this.
In the beginning of October we put our property up for sale in MD, this was not something we were anticipating, but after praying about it, seemed to be the right thing to do, as our priorities have been
changed with the girls and our business. So Bane went to MD in mid October to work on the road so that showing the property would not be a problem. Since no one had been living there the roads had huge gullies in them.
On October 24th we took the girls to Tweetsie railroad, a small local theme park, for a fun day of amusements. They seemed to enjoy it though we couldn't stay very long due to the weather becoming increasingly cold that day.
Bane came home from picking Lyndsay up at school, I was home this day with Charis who wasn't feeling herself, and told me that her teacher told Lyndsay as she was leaving that she could wear her Tinkerbell costume to school on Friday. That is fine except that she had no costume! So upon questioning Lyndsay, who was making up things as quickly as she could, she finally informed me that I could make her a costume. (I dont' sew, so this would be a feat in itself), when I answered her "but Lyndsay, mommy doesn't know how to make costumes like that" , she immediately had the solution "well ask your mother!) Now why didn't I think of that! LOL, those who know my mother, who finds it difficult to sew on a button, are probably rolling on the floor right about now, as I almost did. Leave it to kids! I was saved from certain shame, but my friend and bookkeeper Jeanita, who happened to have a costume she made for one of her girls years ago. She took a part of this costume and attached it to a dance skirt that I bought for Lyndsay, then put two breast panels that tied around her neck. It was brilliant! It looked adorable and she was flying on cloud nine, but wait what about wings? Little did she know that I had purchased wings for her to celebrate her birthday, since she was having a Tinkerbell party. So that night when she asked how she would get wings for her costume, Bane told her that we could pray about it. The next day, her prayer was answered and she was in her glory going to school as Tinkerbell after all, wings and all.
Since we don't celebrate Halloween with the girls we took them to a fall festival at a local church on October 30th. To say they had a "big time" is an understatement. The church had done such an awesome job of carefully planning and organizing this event, we will make it a point to return in the future. The children played games that they then received treats for, regardless of how well they played. Almost all the games had Biblical basis for them and the kids all received a little Bible trading card which had a short Bible story on them along with candy. In addition to all this they had a catered BBQ dinner for all the families and later took everyone on a hayride. This was open to the whole community and was very well attended.
The last party we celebrated this fall was the big 5 for Lyndsay, now complete with her Tinkerbell attire. She had given us explict instructions on what she wanted on her cake, how she wanted her gifts to be wrapped, who she wanted to come to her party and on and on....... She was so excited to be turning 5. Since Saturday was Halloween, we decided to have her party on Sunday after church. Once we got home, we decorated as the girls took a nap. About 10 minutes before it was time for people to arrive I had the scary task of having to wake Lyndsay, who we in a dead sleep, to get her ready for the party.....I held my breathe....would she wake up in one of her "I'll gouge your eyeballs out" moods or will she be the pleasant little fairy that we've had "flying" around the house for the past few days? With careful tact, I gentle rubbed her back, trying to allow her to wake up on her own, but to no avail, as this continued, I finally began saying, Lyndsay it's time to put your Tinkerbell costume on....and magic! She awakened from her very deep sleep, as pleasant as could be, and had a great attitude the entire day....Thank you Lord!! Patricia brought her three girls, all from China, the Alderson girls came, and one of Lyndsay's friends from school. So we had eight little fairies fluttering around for a couple of hours.The day was exhausting, but everyone had a great time playing "pin the wings on the fairy" and tossing rings on an inflatible dolphin, for which they then received little gifts for. We also had a good time watching the three little blessings who all came from Xiamen orphanage playing happily together.
Last night we took the girls to an FCC function where they had a bonfire, hayride, a little bounce house and lots of food and fellowship with other adoptive families. The girls had a ball. It's always alot of fun to get together with all the FCC groups, share stories, challenges and welcome any new comers. Last night there was one little girl named Brooke, just three, who was now home enjoying her new family. What a special thing that is and how we've all been so blessed and our lives have been touched by our Chinese treasures.
I wrote the text for this page before having a chance to upload images, so the dates won't exactly match today, sorry....have to do this when I have a few extra minutes and the house is quiet. I hope you enjoy seeing some of our many fall adventures. Don't be too hard on me for some of the horrible picture quality, many are merely quick snapshots. Charis' 3rd birthday was on the 12th of September, beginning the series of photos.
Kaelin, Charis, Tian Tian with her Jie Jie
Helping put candy into bags for the boxes that will go to kids in Nicaragua
We were so happy to make it to the camp meeting with Andrew Wommack in Charlotte this September, his ministry has blessed us so much, as it has countless others. If you aren't familiar with his work, he's the real deal, we've never heard a better teacher www.awmi.net I know you will be blessed.
Jacob's party was next, celebrating in true Robinhood style, here decorating their tunics
Fair maiden found the banquet table! Lyndsay's in the background keeping a tab on her sister
The next morning I came down to this site, the princess teaparty!
Miss Mary had quite a captive audience as she lights the candles for Grace's cake
Grandfather Mountain with "Mildred"
The beautiful John's River
Princess Charis, pictured below with Tinkerbell herself
Charis pounding the evil army with her "spear"
Lyndsay's 5th birthday, celebrated in fairy style, with Tinkerbell herself appearing!
Emily playing the ring toss game
Sage and Lyndsay looking at a fairy coloring book
I hope you enjoyed sharing our hectic, but fullfilling life with us, be blessed!
I know I'm really behind, but I wanted to share some of the photos of our biannual reunion in July with the Harrison family. It was held in Broadnax, VA this year at Bane's neice's house. She and her family have a lovely home with a nice built-in pool, which everyone enjoyed. There was a nice turn out with family coming from VA, GA, NY, SC and us from NC. The girls enjoyed seeing everyone and I believe they enjoyed being in the limelight, as they are the youngest family members who were able to attend to year. The photos tell the rest of the story. We look forward to getting together again, and hope it won't take another two years.
Lyndsay and Chelsea at the pool
Charis liked playing with Angie's beaded necklace
Charis showing off wearing Dawn's sunglasses
Charis examining Paula upside down, hmmmm
Aunt Sylvia getting some smooches in to Charis' delight
A very tired Charis, who had just woken up from a nap
One of those rare whole family photos snapped while we tried to wrestle the two squirming worms.
Can you feel the love, this was a fleeting moment, so we had to capture it....quickly!
We have been scurrying around like little worker ants with all that there is to do in the office with calendar season upon us. It was a relief to send out hundreds of calendars this week to owners of the dogs pictured in them. We can once again navigate our way through the office. We've also been working our way through all the images taken this spring, editing, printing and then uploading them to our new website (www.cefkphotos.com) for those who want to see what we have been doing....obviously it hasn't been updating our blog! In addition to all the hustle and bustle of business, we've been getting the family in the swing of sending two toddlers off to Pre-K....yes they are now in school, at least for this season. Lyndsay goes three days a week for 3 hours and Charis goes just one day a week at this point. Today was Charis' first day and she really seemed to enjoy it. Lyndsay started the week before and really seems to like it as well. Her first day she kept saying, I love my teacher, I love my teacher..... She spent the two weeks prior to attending, coloring a boatload of pictures for her to take when she started. It will be a real asset to her, learning that the world doesn't revolve around her, learning new social skills and well....just having fun apart from Mom, Dad and Charis. They look forward to it and I must admit, so do we, though it makes it hard to get much done hanging around town for three hours, three times a week. (It's too far to commute back and forth for that amount of time) Next to Charis' first day, the highlight of the week was taking her to a local playground while we waited to pick Lyndsay up from school. Upon arriving Bane commented that there was another little girl playing who appeared to be Chinese as well. I thought that would be nice for Charis to have someone to play with. Once I took a good look at this precious little one, I knew her right away, it was Tian Tian, now Reagan who was in the orphanage with Charis. Though I don't think the girls were in the same room or knew each other, it was fascinating to see Charis come face to face with her and just stop dead in her tracks and look at her, as if to say "hey, you look alot like me!", then off they went their separate ways. She has been home since April and is now beginning to settle in with her new family. She was three shortly after they got her, so the adjustment was extremely difficult for all of them. I'm happy to hear that it is beginning to get easier. She is precious and I know she will be loved, what a blessing these children are.
Charis is making great progress in all areas. Her speech is improving daily, as is her ability to communicate her needs, chew her food properly and increase her upper body strength. She is already potty trained as well! She will have a birthday next week and as she has neared that three year old mark, we have seen major changes in her behavior. I know they are all age appropriate, and for that we are grateful, but it is a real challenge at times. She is becoming increasingly independent, stating boldly as we attempt to help do something "I will do it, I will do it, I will do it" while struggling to do something she hasn't quite mastered yet. Bane tells her "Yes, I know you will do it. After all you'll be driving next week!" LOL We seem to have her ears cleared up from all the wax and fluid build up she had when coming home, that impaired her hearing, which makes us question why she all the sudden can't hear anything, but what she wants to hear these days.....hummm. Three, ahhhh, it's a magic age. As long as we don't have a repeat of this age as we experienced with number one daughter, we'll be okay. We were so happy to see her grow beyond age four. By four and a half, life was more bearable and enjoyable for all of us. The girls are so different in personality though, I don't think we'll have any problem with all the "expertise" (I use this term loosely!) we've gained. Charis also has an incredible sense of humor. She is very ornery and when she's feeling full of herself....which happens frequently, she will deliberately give the wrong answer to something she knows the answer to, just to watch your reaction, so she can laugh at you. She just cracks herself up and then you have no choice but to laugh as well, our little clown. Never a dull moment.
Lyndsay is growing up so fast, she is long legged and very elegant, just as we were told by some of the people of China, that she would be. After several very challenging months of adapting to having a sister in the house, she has now discovered not only the advantages of having someone to keep her company and play with, but also a scapegoat. She will show Charis how to do something, which she knows is wrong, then allow her to do it and come get us to tell us so she'll get in trouble.....ah, sounds just like "normal" siblings doesn't it? Lyndsay has always been very bright, which sometimes gets her in trouble, but has aided her in the ability to learn to read. She is beginning to read basic easy stories and she won't be five until November. We are really proud of her. It's tough to keep her focused while teaching her, but she can do it well, if she tries. Writing her alphabet is something that Bane started early with her and she is doing a nice job of it. She will write her name, Charis' name, Mom and Dad consistently and mostly accurately. She is also very artistic and loves to color, draw and other similar skills. Since we live in a rural area, we have no shortage of various bugs, butterflies, moths and other interesting critters,so she has taken a bunch of these critters (some dead already) in to share with her class. There is so much more, but I'll close for now and just attach some photos which will tell alot more. Blessings!
No explaination needed here!
When you are short of help, you take what you can get! Does this violate child labor laws! LOL Lyndsay and Charis helped me stuff business cards in envelopes for customers and then seal the envelope. Not sure if it was a help or if it really took me three times as long.
Five Chinese treasures. We joined the Cercopely's for a fun night of worship. They did a concert at at church in Banner Elk one evening and we got to see their girls afterward. (From left to right Piper, Sage, Willow, Charis and Lyndsay)
Charis (Xiao Zhen) and Willow (Xiao Hua)both from an orphanage in Xiamen
Charis trying her hand at the Dulcimer
Looking at herself in the mirror during a haircut.
Panning for gold??
Contortionist sound asleep
I will not take a nap! She fell asleep with her feet still on the floor. Can we say "strong willed"?
July 4th having some fun with bubbles
Miss Milissa is a good bubble blower!
The Outer Banks
Charis was leary of the water, but she did relax for a little while
Where to begin? Well I realize it's been a long time since I was able to update our blog page. This has got to the busiest spring we've had to date. I'm sure alot of that comes with having two busy, little blessings to care for, a flourishing business and all the other stuff that life throws at you.
We recently came home from a six week long trip up the east coast doing dog pictures for upcoming publication work, the backbone of our business. We made our way first a bit south to Tennessee, then back home briefly (two days literally) to NC, then off to Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, Pennsylvania and New Jersey during that time. While in Maryland we briefly got to see some good friends on the Eastern Shore and had an evening to spend with some of my family, who we see only a few times a year. Lyndsay and Charis had a great time visiting. In Delaware we spent a couple of days visiting my parents, which the girls just ate up. I think Mom and Dad probably slept for a week afterward!
We had been in prayer before the trip believing for good weather and moderate temperatures and were blessed that overall the weather held for the most part and we lost very little shooting time to inclement conditions. The report on the other hand from home was that it rained nearly every day. Only once did I have to shoot under the cover of an umbrella for about an hour or so. The dogs didn't seem at all bothered by the heavy drizzle. It would have been a different picture for the camera gear on the other hand, had it not been for a couple of the very determined owners helping in every way they could to keep it all dry. Nearly every shooting day, Bane stayed at the camper with the girls, trying to hold down the fort so to speak. Many of the campgrounds had play areas or something to help pass the time. They wore Daddy completely out as any normal toddlers will. The camper was on site for a couple days of shooting, but I rarely saw my family as I was hopping the entire day, with an average of about 30 dogs a day. Several shoots were about 10 hours long, plus the time at the end of the day to download images, clear memory cards and backup all the work from that day. I came in as the girls were about to go to bed, said goodnight to them, and ate dinner as I worked on the computer, then dropped into bed at some point....late. If you are interested in seeing some of our work you can visit our business website which is still under major construction www.cefkphotos.com which will showcase a number of our large dog stock photo collection available to editors for publication. We are still in the uploading process since we have hundreds of thousands on file, but will select some of our newest and best older work to display on line.
The girls were troopers, but the long time away from home grew old after about three weeks and Lyndsay told us. "I'm ready to go home!" We were all worn pretty thin toward the end. On the last day of the photo shoots, we were able to spend some time with my sister and her family. The girls really enjoyed that and it was a nice break for all of us. The family enjoyed some much deserved R & R in Pennsylvania, leisurely visiting the Lancaster area....in the rain for two days. Who knew that the highlight for Lyndsay, would be carrying the umbrella around in the rain and for Charis trying her best not to miss one puddle! The following day was strictly for the girls as a bit of a "reward" at the end of such a long trek. Prior to heading on the road, I purchased tickets on line for Hershey Park. The weather was perfect, the day glorious and we all had an extremely enjoyable day. Even Lyndsay who was without a nap, made it a point to be on her best behavior, making it a pleasant experience for all. THESE are the days that you dream about as you head into parenthood, so we reveled in it as long as possible!
We returned home in early June to begin the arduous task of downloading, sorting, editing, printing and finally uploading images to our website. Some days I shot over 1100 dog images in a day, so this task will take quite some time. The girls however, were just thrilled to be back in their own beds, though I think Charis was becoming fond of sleeping next to herJie Jie (big sister). You'd never have guessed that by the way they carried on while away, although most of it was playing. Charis even starting crying at night a bit when we first put her back in her room.
Now going back in time, I'll try to help you catch up on the lives of our toddlers, whose world is ever changing and growing. A few months ago, Lyndsay who will be five in November, informed us in the most serious tone she could muster, that when she turned five she was going to move out. So being the attentive parents that we tryto be, we listened carefully as she explained that she was going to take Charis and move into their own log cabin.....next door. She was just as sincere as any child can be, as she continued, "I'm going to buy a car with my money. One with two seats, one for me and one for Charis". Then she inquired "Mom, how old do you have to be to drive?", I simply replied "sixteen". She thought about it and remarked, "that's a long time". When we questioned what she was going to do for food, she said that they would walk over to our house to eat! I'm not making this up! LOL The amazing thing about all this is it wasn't out of anger at being corrected or that she wanted to get away from us for any reason. I think she just is so mature that she thought she was ready to go out on her own and take "her" baby with her. (She told us a while back that we had "given" Charis to her) About a month later she told Bane, "Daddy, I think I want to stay here with you when I'm five". Whoo, what a relief, the upkeep on one home is enough!! Then more recently this week, she told me that she wants to stay here forever. Those moments, though we know they are for a short season, are ones we relish and after a long day you can actually step back and think, wow, we must be doing some things right (though it sometimes doesn't feel that way). Enjoy some images from this spring!
Sozo, Fuji, Lyndsay and Charis sitting on a log in April during one of our short trail hikes in NC. Yes, bad photo I know.
Charis training Pop Pop right! She would have ridden all day in this little wagon if he let her.
Lyndsay playing in the pool with Aunt Shannon. Below Charis was not sure at all about her first pool adventure and quickly wanted out.
Playing "A merry heart does good like a medicine" Proverbs 17:22
Bane was amazed how Charis jumped right up on this swing and began working it as though she'd been doing it all along. Not bad for a child who didn't know she could walk until she was two! The orphanage was right about one thing, they called her as "special". Little did they know how special she really is!
Mother's Day complete with a card and crafts the girls did at the campground
Yes, they can be as ornery as they look!
These looks say it all! Yes, that is Bane's faces peeking through as they crawled through the tunnel....sheer joy....or is it terror?!! LOL
Lyndsay helping "Aunt" Nancy water flowers they planted together. Lyndsay kind of "adopted" Nancy, a very rare thing indeed for Lyndsay, as she is often cautious of new people. She has really taken to her and Jim since our very first trip to PA with her, to photograph Nancy's gorgeous Lhasa Apsos, as well as a number of other dogs.
This is one of the few photos you'll see of all of us, yes I really was there! Thanks to the Cordells for not only this nice photo of all of us, but for allowing us to use their lovely gardens in Chambersburg, PA, to do dog photos, for a number of years now. They are such a blessing and we are privileged to have come to know them and count them as friends.
One of Lyndsay's very creative arrangements, she has such an artistic eye. She's going to be a great photographer.
She is getting the hang of this whole water thing now!
The day at Hershey ended with a splash! They would have stayed in the water until they shriveled up like prunes.
Home Sweet Home
Charis trying hard to keep up with Lyndsay in the yard. I love to see her run! We knew she would be fine once she was at home, loved and nurtured. These photos show clearly how good God really is!
"Whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven" Matt 18:4
She's been jumping on the trampoline for months now, as her leg strength increases so does the height.
Then there is "Oh, legged one", she gets more beautiful, slender and leggy all the time. The Chinese people said she would grow up to be "elegant". We're seeing that already, at less then 5 years old. Daddy will need to carry a VERY large stick!
Picking blueberries off our bushes, always a highlight for Lyndsay and now Charis!Eating out of Daddy's hand....literally. I think mostly it's the other way around.
OH, ANGELIC ONES.....HEE HEE
THE END....hope you enjoyed reading about our adventures this spring and I hope it won't be as long next time before I can update the site. Be Blessed!!
In between the bouts of frustration, there are those ahhhh moments when our little ones come up with the cutest things. Recently, Bane came to tell me one of these and he was so tickled he could barely get it out. He had been ridding himself of the traditional morning bedhead look so prevalent in our house, by wetting his hair with a comb. In the process he inadvertantly missed drying a little and it proceeded to run down his forehead as he went about the ritual of tending to the girls. Lyndsay looked at him noticing the droplet of water on his forehead, and not immediately realizing what it was, told him "Daddy you have something shiny on your head". Upon closer examination she was satisfied that it was just water and told him "Daddy you have a leak!". Out of the mouths of babes!
Lyndsay was doing something downstairs while I was busy working on the computer upstairs trying to fulfill some tight deadlines. She yells up the stairs "Mom?", to which I simply answered "yes?" "Mommy, I love you!, but don't come down, you just stay up there and keep working!" I knew immediately I was in trouble. I crept downstairs to discover she was washing out her sippy cup in the bathroom sink, to be able to fill it with water. Not a big deal, but she knew that I had told her not to do it. I didn't want the sink to become clogged with food stuff. How "considerate" of her not to want to upset me! LOL
Charis' speech is improving daily now, and one of the first significant breakthroughs we noticed was when she began giving us simple yes and no responses to questions. Sometimes she doesn't really mean what she answered, but she is trying at least to respond. We will say "Charis do you want to go night night" to which she'd answer "yea". "Are you hungry?", "yea". So Bane chimes in "Do you want a spanking?", "yea". (grant it she does not understand the meaning of this yet, but it was still rather funny). The not so funny part is when she walks around saying "no Mame", now grant it she hears this from us, but it still doesn't sound good coming from a 2/12 year old, especially if it happens to come out at the appropriate time after asking her to do something. Good thing she isn't really being cocky...yet, or we'd be in trouble.
While in the car yesterday Charis, for the first time told us, using simple words, that she had to go to potty. She's been doing better in this area, but had never indicated with words or any other means that she had to go, we just always put her on the potty throughout the day. We are happy to see progress in this area and hope she might be potty trained by the time we go on the road in the spring for our annual photo sessions.
We think our new stock photo website will be going live next week, this has been a very long "birthing process". Even after we go live we still have a long way to go before we can get all the images we want on it. This will be a very time consuming, on-going project. There will be a section devoted to China and China adoption. We have some decent photos from Charis' adoption that we think might be of interest to editors of related magazines, books, etc.
We recently returned from a week of R & R at Myrtle beach, Charis' first. She was a bit leery of the ocean and started to become frightened if we got too close, though it didn't bother her from a distance. She decided that she doesn't like sand stuck to her fingers (or anything else for that matter), but overall it was a hit. She and Lyndsay carried their buckets and shovels around and dug to their heart's content. We plan to return next Jan and stay for a month. I can work on the computer and possibly get some shooting in at the beach. We'll just take the dogs with us and between the girls and the dogs we'll have instant models.
Well I'll get back to the real work. Unfortunately this site doesn't count!
This shows the condo we stayed at, behind them.